Double Up With "The Rum Old Fashioned" by Beard Manners
Can you teach an old dog new tricks? Can you teach a bearded veteran some beard manners?
A company which has been created by a "gentleman" named Jason to which I use the term loosely, because anyone who decides to profile stalk Jason then you will quickly learn his half mountain and half beast, who has more muscle in his pinky finger than my entire body. This specimen of a man has decided to jump head first into the community and has been indulging in conversations with everyone prepared to listen, and accepting the bearded community spirit. Beard Manners is a company who has ideas to be one of the beating hearts of the community, offering help, tips, great products and just someone to talk to. Whilst this goal will take time, Beard Manners has got to start somewhere and with the privilege of giving them their first review, their participation within the UK Beard Portal, then it's going to be a statement of things to come for the future. The Rum Old Fashioned beard oil and balm goes under my microscope but does this old fashioned scent feel outdated in today's environment? Beard Manners will be the first company who will be part of a new segment called "For The Future" where I will provide the company with my personal opinion on how they could improve to help the UK market grow and push boundaries.
Outside The Bottle
Beard Manners have gone for a traditional, professional look using a classic branding theme of brown UV containers, black labels and a deep golden logo. White letter appears to pop off the bottle due to the contrasting colour scheme which allows all ingredients and necessary information to be easily eligible. There is a slight issue regarding batch numbers on the label however this has been discussed with Jason and corrected for every new bottle sold. This shows testament to Jason at Beard Manners who's accepting criticism and acting immediately.
The beard oil comes in a 30ml variant with a pipette applicator and a gold ring top which costs £13.99. The balm comes in a 60ml variant, with a glass container and black plastic top which costs £16.99.
The branding in my opinion does a nice job at looking professional. A brand which would look fantastic sitting in a rustic barbers for everyone to see however when it's stuck in my beard oil draw then it doesn't scream for attention and can be easily lost in a horde of products. A brand designed to be on constant show by itself rather than having to fight against other products.
Inside The Containers
How many base carrier oils should be used to create the perfect beard blend? In this case Beard Manners feel that 6 is plenty and aims to give you ample for long lasting nourishment. A base blend of Sweet Almond Oil, Argan Oil, Avocado Oil, Castor Oil, Grapeseed Oil and Jojoba Oil is used in both the oil and balm with only an additional Shea Butter and Beeswax Wax being used for the balm. This combination should give a great mixture of faster absorbing oils like the Grapeseed and Avocado Oil yet longer lasting nourishment properties which can be derived from the Castor and Jojoba.
The scent profile consists of rum, spice and sweet orange. A mixture which brings warmth and depth with elements of winter nights, sitting in front of a fire with a cigar. The aroma is exactly as it says on the label with no hidden or quirky meanings, which sounds perfect for social gatherings.
The base carrier blend is not the most adventurous with every ingredient apart from the Avocado Oil being widely used in a lot of brands nowadays. Should you change a winning formula? Should you fix something which ain't broken? No, I don't feel you should however to be a company which wants to stand out then perhaps there's a leap of faith which needs to be made.
The Rum Old Fashioned by Beard Manners is a product designed for the modern, sophisticated man. As the oil is released from the pipette it glistens a very light golden colour which shimmers in the light. Squeezing the pipette releases a medium towards thick oil which smothers your beard. Rubbing the oil into your beard leaves a minimal amount of residue but this is to be expected from a thicker oil which uses Castor within its base. Once within your beard it feels slightly heavy and has an small element of styling hold which is fantastic for individuals who like a natural look. The product holds within your beard with an absorption rate for the lighter oils of around 4 hours before it hits its peak, which is where the Castor oil takes over and gives a slower rate of nourishment which lasts an approximately additional 4 hours before it oil hits it limit and the dryness truly begins to overtake.
The beard balm is of the poured variety and has a lovely light golden colour within the pot. Using the tip of your finger to scrape out the butter, allows you to easily manipulate the product with ease within your hand because of its soft texture. The product melts down after just a few rubs however there is a slight grainy texture which means a little extra attention needs to be given to ensure you don't end up with chunky bits in your beard. This can be an issue caused during the cooking / cooling process however for me shows the "homemade" and "small batch" qualities of the product, which I enjoy and provides no deterrent. The balm provides a soft hold which is designed for beardos who like the natural look and prefer nourishment properties over styling. The balm does everything you would expect it to do, giving longer lasting nourishment due to its high shea butter and beeswax ingredients, which will sit within your beard 10+ hours, providing constant softness with the option to gently restyle your beard without the worry of losing any goodness. Like most balms there is a small element of residual left on your hands if its run through your beard however its surprisingly a minimal amount which is extremely impressive.
The scent profile is one which is surprising complex yet simple at the same time. The Rum is deeply rich and punchy which smells like its been poured straight from the bottle with no time to breathe. It's a little chaotic and unsettled which is boosted only by the citrus zest provided by the sweet orange. After a very short period the sweet orange fades away which is natural for a top note scent yet its replaced with slight warmth where the rum begins to settle and it feels like the product is ageing in a casket into a mature state. The scent profile lingers around 4-5 hours in both the oil and balm with the typical waxy smell taking over in the balm after the scent aroma disappears. Despite its slightly chaotic start which grabs your nostrils right from the beginning, it slowly mellows into a mantric aroma which engulfs the user like any good rum should. A cigar, a glass of rum and a fireplace summarises an aroma which is wrapped in warmth yet slightly unpredictable like a flickering flame of a fireplace.
Beard Manners have done a really great job stepping into a very saturated beard market however there is still ample room to grow. The overall brand and product combination is great yet it feels a little comfortable which is understandable for a new company however I would like to see something which is a little more attention seeking like an oldest child who demands to be seen. The branding is sleek, which is more suited to a professional environment however lacks a little bit of a uniqueness compared to other brands.
The oil covers the need for most bearded men and provides a great compromise of absorption VS longevity. I feel its designed more towards longer beards however shorter beards should use in moderation due to the slightly heavy feeling of the oil which can "drown" a beard. The beard balm gives long nourishment, a nice soft hold and ideal for every user who likes to keep it natural. The balm does exactly what it should, and finding a fault leads me down a route of hardship.
Overall Beard Manners have managed to cater for virtually everyone giving an option for most bearded brothers. A company owner, a brand and products which I feel deserves their place within the community, who I hope continue to grow.
For The Future
This is a new segment in which I hope to inspire companies to progress in their journey.
After this review and inspecting other Beard Manners products, I feel the company have a few areas I would love to see them grow. The carrier blend is really good, however I would love to see a blend which could be a little more adventurous and designed to be thinner or faster absorbing. During hot summer days the thickness of the oil may be a little too heavy and uncomfortable for users. By creating a thin oil it will give users a wider option and possibly attract new customers. This would obviously involve a new carrier blend which I would hope to see something a little special by using unusual carrier oils like Hemp Oil, Neem Seed Oil or possibly different variants of common used items like Golden Jojoba or Jamaican Black Castor oil.